Posts Tagged ‘college’

For the first time in my blog I am not concerned about NFL stats; I am concerned about how the players played in college.  College football has had almost 150 seasons of different players from all around the country.  Obviously its hard to really say who the best college football players are/were, so the way I am doing this is I am just going to list players who I feel had incredible college careers.  It doesn’t matter what school you went to, what years you played, or how many championships you won; all I care about is how did you perform in those short years that they were in college.  I am sure there will be players that are not on this list, but I will do my best to outline who I feel had the best college careers.

Herschel Walker RB Georgia – From the first time he touched the ball he was impressive.  Just in his freshman year he rushed for 1,891 yards and 18 TDs.  Also, as a freshman he finished second in the Heisman race being beat out by Marcus Allen.  As a freshman he was a huge part in leading the Bulldogs to a National Title.  There was not a time where Walker failed to impress; even his work ethic was better than you could find in any other player.  As a junior he won the Heisman Trophy by rushing for 1,752 yards and 16 TDs.  There are few players who could even come close to the career that Walker had and earned his spot in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Archie Griffin RB Ohio State – Griffin is the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner and he delivered some epic performances.  Between the years of 1972 and 1975 Griffin rushed for more than 1,400 yards in 3 seasons; just in his junior year he rushed for 1,695 yards and 12 TDs.  By the time he ended his college career he totaled up 36 TDs, 5,589 rushing yards, and averaged 6 yards per carry.  There is still yet to be another player to win two Heisman trophies and during his time; there was no better RB than Griffin.

Barry Sanders RB Oklahoma State – Obviously cant have this list without including Barry.  All I need to say is “The 1988 season” and people will know what I am taking about.  Just in 1988, Sanders rushed for an amazing 2,850 yards, 37 TDs, averaged 7.6 yards per carry, and averaged 237.5 rushing yards per game.  He also easily won the Heisman Trophy during the 1988 season and it was well deserved.  I dare you to find a better season for a RB then that; and after that season Barry went pro. 

Tony Dorsett RB Pittsburgh – He was not the biggest guy on the field, but he knew how to make people miss.  Tony led the Panthers to the 1976 National Title and won the Heisman Trophy in the process.  Dorsett made first-team All-American three times and when he graduated he had rushed for 6.082 yards which was a record that stood until 1998.  Dorsett also still hold numerous team records and made the College Football Hall of Fame. 

Bo Jackson RB Auburn – “Bo Knows”.  Between the years of 1982 and 1985; Jackson terrorized defenses across the country.  In the 4 years Bo played at Auburn he totaled up 4,303 rushing yards, 43 TDs, and averaged 6.6 yards per carry.  His best season came in 1985 when he rushed for 1,786 yards in a season which earned him the Heisman Trophy.  After he retired the University of Auburn retired his number and named him to the college Hall of Fame.

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Vernon Davis is a different breed of tight end then you would expect.  He has the size of a linebacker, but the speed of a wide receiver.  The tight end position used to be more of a blocking position, but recently tight ends are being used more as receivers since they are getting faster.  Davis has turned the tight end position into a perfect balance of power blocking and incredible hands.  He may not post the highest stats of NFL tight ends, but he is always a huge factor in every game that he plays in.

Vernon Leonard Davis was born on January 31st, 1984 in Washington D.C.  At a very young age Davis was a gifted athlete.  In junior high he was very involved in football and track and field.  He was ranked as one of the best tight ends by Rivals.com and recorded school records in the high jump and the 100-meter dash.  He was team mates with Joshua Cribbs who is now on the Oakland Raiders as a kick returner.

David attended Dunbar High School and was a stand out football player and continued in track and field.  He was ranked as the #4 tight end in the country and was highly sought after going into college.  As a football player he played tight end, wide receiver, linebacker, defensive end, and a kick returner.  In high school he was named to the All-USA team, played in the US Army All-American Bowl, and was Gatorade Player of the Year.  Davis was one of the most versatile players in the country and was ranked #3 by ESPN.

Davis decided to attend the University of Maryland and he was a studio art major.  As a true freshman he played in every game and played offense and defense.  In 2004, Maryland had him play exclusively on offense and was second on the team with 27 receptions and 3 touchdowns.  In 2005 he made the All-American team and was a finalist for the Mackey Award.  He led the team with 51 receptions for 871 yards and 6 touchdowns and was ranked as one of the best blocking college players in the country.  So to NFL teams; he was the full package with size, strength, and speed.  In college Davis was always in the weight room and set numerous school strength records.  Davis benched 465 pounds, power cleaned 355 pounds, and squat 685 pounds.

In the 2006 Draft Davis was selected by the 49ers in the first round with the 6th overall pick.  As a rookie his first NFL catch was a 31 yard touchdown reception against the Arizona Cardinals.  His rookie year was cut short by an injury to his fibula but he made a big enough impact to be recognized as a dominant tight end.  It was in 2009 when Davis really broke out as a super star when he hauled in 78 receptions for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns.  Due to his amazing season the 49ers gave Davis a five-year $37 million contract making him the highest paid tight end in the NFL.  In 2011 Davis was the main reason the 49ers went to the NFC Championship Game.  In that game Davis had 2 touchdowns and the last one was the game winner. 

Davis was named to the 2009 Pro Bowl and was also named to the NFL Top 100 players three different seasons.  In his career he has hauled in 4,351 receiving yards and 40 touchdowns.  He got the nickname “The Duke” from his father; and the two of them look identical.  Like I said before, Davis may not put up the best stats in the NFL, but he is going to continue to be one of the best tight ends in the NFL.  He is one of the key elements in the 49ers offense and he will be around for a long time.

 

Andrew Luck is an NFL star already and it is only his second year in the league.  He took a team that was ranked dead last in 2011; and took them to the playoffs in 2012.  He is going to have a very long NFL career and he is set to be a Hall of Famer and is already being compared to some of the greats.  He is an incredible athlete and has nothing but a bright future ahead of him.

Andrew Austen Luck was born on September 12th, 1989 in Washington D.C.  His father Oliver Luck was a former QB at West Virginia University and played for the Houston Oilers.  When Andrew was a child his father moved them to London; he is the oldest of 4 children.  Being in London, Andrew came to be a soccer fan that still carries with him to this day.  In his teenage years his family re-located to Texas and Luck attended Stratford High School where he threw for an amazing 7,139 passing yards and 53 touchdowns which are both school records.  He also was a very good runner and rushed for 2,085 yards in his high school career.  Luck is also very smart he was a co-valedictorian from his high school and was ranked as the #4 college prospect in the country.  He was recruited by a ton of colleges including Virginia, Northwestern, Purdue, and Rice.  He chose a full scholarship to Stanford to play for Coach Jim Harbaugh.

At Stanford he became to first freshman QB to earn the starting QB position since 1996.  Luck led Stanford to the 2009 Sun Bowl and completed the season with 2,575 passing yards and had a passer rating of 143.5 (which is very high).  In 2010, Luck improved on his skills and was the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year and All-Pac First Team.  Luck led Stanford to the Orange Bowl where he earned MVP honors for his performance.  He led the conference in yards and threw for 3,338 yards and 32 touchdowns.  After that season he was approached to enter the NFL Draft, but he wanted to stay at Stanford longer to better himself.  In his junior year he led his team to the Fiesta Bowl and won the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.  In his college career he set 3 conference records and 15 Stanford records, amongst numerous awards for his performances.

There was a lot of hype when Luck announced he would be entering the NFL Draft; he was known as the most NFL ready player to ever be drafted.  Before he was even drafted people were comparing Luck to Peyton Manning; and they were right.  In 2011 it was the Dolphins and the Colts you were the worst teams and the most likely to draft Luck.  The Colts ended up getting the first overall pick and wasted no time in drafting Luck #1 overall.

A lot of people felt bad for Luck since he was going to a team that needed a lot of help, but Luck proved everyone wrong and it did not take long for him to do it.  Like any rookie QB, he had some early season mistakes, but every week he kept getting better and was utilizing all the targets around him.  Luck made big plays when he needed to and launched the Colts into the playoffs against the Ravens.  Even though the Colts lost, it gave the Colts hope for future seasons.  Just in his rookie year he set 9 NFL/Rookie records.  By the end of the season he threw for 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns. 

As a rookie he made the 2012 Pro Bowl, 3 Pepsi Rookie of the Week Awards, and is already being compared to greats such as Dan Marino, Fran Tarkenton, or Peyton Manning.  In the 2013 offseason the Colts have made a lot of additions to the team which is going to make the Colts a lot more dangerous.  I think that 2013 will be the season that Luck gets the Colts closer to a Super Bowl.

 

Most running backs earn their careers at one position or doing one thing.  Spiller has always been someones back up and yet he is still one of the best running backs that you can find.  He doesn’t have a sad story, he has never gotten into trouble, and he didn’t have a bad childhood.  The reason why he is interesting is because despite always being a second string running back, he made the most of the opportunities he has been given.  This season in 2013, this will most likely be the first season that Spiller will be a starter.

Clifford “CJ” Spiller Jr. was born on August 5th, 1987 in Florida.  He attended Union County High School where he was an outstanding athlete in footbal and track.  In his senior year of high school he posted the 4th fastest time in the nation in the 100 meter dash.  Due to his speed he was a natural football player as well.  In his senior year he rushed for 1,840 yards and 30 touchdowns.  In his high school career he rushed for 5,511 and was selected to play in the 2006 US Army All-American Bowl.  By the time he graduated he was also ranked the #1 player in Florida, #1 all-purpose running back, and #8 overall player in the nation.

Spiller received a full athletic scholarship to attend Clemson University; and as a freshman he mad an immediate impact.  Even though he was the second string running back he rushed for 938 yards and 10 touchdowns.  In his freshman season the coaches used him as a return man as well which gained him a lot of recognition for his speed.  His sophomore year was not as productive since he was still a second string running back; but he was a lot more useful as a receiver out of the back field.  So now he was a triple threat; he could run, catch, and return.  His junior year was similar to his sophomore year; he was still a second string running back, but once again he made a great name for himself as a return man and a catching receiver out of the backfield.  At the end of his junior year he was approached to enter the 2009 NFL Draft; and after much consideration he decided to finish his college career before entering the draft.  His senior year was a great one, he set numerous NCAA records for all-purpose yards, return touchdowns, and was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award.  Spiller was also selected to the All-ACC first team and was the ACC Player of the Year.  In December of 2009, Spiller became the first person in his family to receive a college degree, and Clemson retired his #28 jersey.

In the 2010 draft, Spiller was projected to go in the first round and numerous teams were interested for his speed and agility.  The Buffalo Bills selected him as the 9th overall pick, and he became the highest Clemson player to ever be drafted.  The Bills offered him a 5 year $25 million contract which he accepted.  His rookie season he was mostly used for special teams, but had a disappointing year as a running back since he was playing behind Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch.  The 2011 started out much of the same; Fred Jackson was the starter and he was having a Pro Bowl year.  In week 12 Jackson went down and was put on the injured reserve list, so Spiller would finally get his shot to show what he could do as a starter.  In the remaining 4 weeks he rushed for 561 yards with 4 rushing touchdowns.  He also totaled up 39 catches, 269 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns.  Needless to say, people were impressed.  When the 2012 season rolled in, Jackson was still battling injuries so Spiller got the nod to be the starter.  Once again he took advantage and earned his first 1,000 yard season, and showed the league that he can run, catch, and score.

Going into 2013 Spiller is considered a top running back for any fantasy football league.  Spiller now in his short career has 2,088 yards, 10 rushing touchdowns, 885 receiving yards, and averages 5.4 yards per carry.  To me, Spiller is a great example of being patient, and making the most of what you have.  Most people want to complain when they don’t get what they want, but not Spiller.  He will wait until his time comes, then prove to everyone what he can do.

 

There are few player in the NFL that can overcome serious adversity and Patrick Willis is one of them.  The things he had to go through as a child make him a hero to most kids and adults.  The way he plays football is almost like watching a super hero and to have such a humble player just adds to how great he really is.  You will never see Willis getting pulled over for a DUI or hitting a spouse; you will see nothing but class out of him.  Below is his story on how he was able to escape a life of poverty and gain a life of fortune.

Patrick L Willis was born on January 25th, 1985 in Tennessee.  He was born into a life of poverty and he was in charge of taking care of his younger brothers.  When Patrick was 10 he already had a full-time job working in cotton fields.  Patrick had a father that was always drunk, and when his dad was drunk he would get violent with his children.  Patrick would always try to take most of the abuse so his siblings did not have to endure the pain.  By the time Patrick was 17 he had enough of this violence and he took his two brothers and sister away from their violent father.  Patrick moved in with his basketball coach who took all four of them in.

Willis attended Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central High School, where he was a two-time All-State selection, Regional MVP, and West Tennessee Player of the Year.  He excelled in football, basketball, and baseball.  When he graduated high school he was listed as a high prospect to go to college and play college football.  Memphis University had offered him a chance to come play football, but in the end he decided to go to Ole Miss to further his career as a student and a football player.

At Ole Miss he was an immediate starter and showed off how good of linebacker he is.  As a sophomore he was an honorable mention for the All-SEC Team; he also recorded 70 tackles and 5 sacks; which lead his team.  As a junior he was averaging 12.8 tackles per game; which made him nationally recognized and he finished that season with 128 tackles.  As a junior he was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year as well as first team All-American.  As a senior Willis led the SEC in tackles again by totaling 137 tackles and won another SEC Defensive Player of the Year and another first team All-SEC.  For his outstanding play he also won the Jack Lambert Award, The Butkus Award, and the Conerly Trophy.  After graduation he was projected to go very high in the draft; and when the NFL scouts saw him perform at the NFL Combine it made every team want him.

In the 2007 NFL Draft the San Francisco 49ers picked him up as the 11th overall draft pick.  The 49ers signed him to a 7 year $53.51 million contract.  Since going to the 49ers he has been nothing short of amazing; as a rookie he totaled 174 tackles which earned him the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.  In 2008 he improved on his pass coverage and recorded his first touchdown, and still totaled 141 tackles.  In 2009 he totaled up another 152 tackles and also had 4 sacks.  In 2010 he racked up 128 tackles and 6 sacks.  His 2011 campaign was his lowest totals but still had 97 tackles.  In 2012 he had another 120 tackles to add to his stats.  Before Patrick Willis showed up the 49ers defense was just mediocre, since Patrick Willis has arrived he has strengthened the defense in a way that you can’t explain.  He has helped the 49ers reach the playoffs, championship games, and even the Super Bowl.  The 49ers have now surrounded him with other great athletes and he has proven to be an outstanding leader on and off the field.

Patrick Willis is a true role model that everyone can learn something from.  You don’t have to stay in a bad situation; you always have a choice to better yourself, you just have to be willing to take the risk.  As a six year pro he has already totaled 812 tackles, 17.5 sacks, 7 interceptions, 14 forced fumbles, and 49 deflected passes.  For his outstanding play he has also earned 6 Pro Bowls, 6 All-Pro selections, 3-time NFL Linebacker of the Year, and an NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.  Willis is somebody that we can all learn from and I hope he stay in the NFL for a long time to teach younger players that if you put in the hard work; then you will get rewarded.